Telephone scammers posing as Air Canada employees

  • Aug. 5, 2015 2:00 p.m.

By Evelyn von AlmassyHaida Gwaii ObserverThe telephone scammers just won’t give up. After the Observer recently received a couple of phone calls from someone claiming to be an Air Canada representative, a quick telephone interview with the RCMP revealed the calls were indeed scams. Even the RCMP staff member had received the same call earlier that day: “As soon as I told them that we are an R.C.M.P. Emergency response service, they hung up,” she said. With telephone scams, a person typically receives a phone call, sometimes computer-generated, advising them that they have won a trip, vacation or other sort of prize from Air Canada, or another well-known company. The individual is then asked to provide a credit card number and/or other personal information. Air Canada’s website says anyone receiving such a call from someone claiming to represent the company in this capacity is most-certainly operating a scam, as Air Canada does not participate in telephone promotions.The RCMP says criminals try to use the same techniques as legitimate companies, but hide behind the anonymity of the telephone and attempt to defraud thousands of Canadians each year. However, the RCMP asks of anyone wanting to report such a scam to not call their local detachment, but the Canada anti-fraud line at 1-888-495-8501, or www.antifraudcentre.ca to file a report online.The RCMP only become involved if an individual has lost any money to the scammers.In this case involving the RCMP staff member, the scammer did not know that they were calling a police detachment until the dispatcher answered the call. Her suggestion was, after receiving one of these calls, is to say nothing and hang up. The calls often entice people with free goods or amazing deals; they are not.

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